Ever heard someone say of another person God is blessing, “She really deserves it”? Or, have you ever thought, I know God will bless me because I am faithful? In other words, you feel you deserve to be blessed, to be happy, to have your prayers answered because you have been faithful. If so, you are making a costly mistake and limiting your blessings in a huge way!
Just listen to what the Scriptures have to say about how “deserving” we are of Read More
Faced with a serious, life-threatening scarcity of food and water, Elijah was forced to seek refuge near a brook and depend on God to use extraordinary means to feed him. But after a year of drinking from the brook, it went dry. Now, he was facing a major crisis that had just gotten far worse. No doubt he prayed because God answered.
“Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” (I Kings 17:8-9 NKJV)
Elijah responded in faith and Read More
The Bible declares, “The just shall live by faith.” And again, we are saved, “by grace through faith.” Do you know why God chose to base the entire plan of redemption on faith? To operate his kingdom on faith and to bless people through faith? It is because He wants everyone to be able to participate equally in and enjoy all his blessings fully.
Think about it, if He operated the kingdom on the basis of intelligence, some people would have Read More
Remember Samson? Just watched a powerful dramatic enactment of his story at Sight & Sound Theater in Pennsylvania. His story is recorded in Judges 13-16. God chose him and anointed him to deliver His people from their enemies. But his success depended upon his adherence to some very specific instructions God gave him. One of those instructions forbade him from cutting his hair. He knew if he ever did so, he would lose his extraordinary strength and sacrifice his ability to defend himself and his people against the Philistines.
Unfortunately, however, Samson had a weakness for pretty women. Delilah, a pretty Philistine woman, seduced him and managed to get him to tell her the secret of his strength. Upon discovering his secret, his uncut hair, the symbol of his consecration to God, she proceeded to cut off his hair while he slept in her bed. Without his hair, Samson was no match for the Philistine army. The conqueror became the conquered!
The creative enactment of Samson’s story I just watched drove home two very important lessons for all of us. Here they are:
- Sin makes you stupid. Samson knew the risks he was taking in flirting with Delilah, and he should certainly have understood the tremendous price he could pay if he divulged his secret to her. But he did so any way and suffered tremendous personal loss as a result. His captors bound him, plucked out his eyes, enslaved him, and made sport of him. And even though he was eventually able to defeat them, he lost his physical life in the process. Sin makes you do stupid things. It is extremely hazardous to your health and well-being. So resist temptation. For your own good, for the good of all those connected to you, and for the glory of God, flee from all known sin, especially immorality!
- Grace is like hair. You may cut it off at any point by an act of your will, through your unbelief, but it is always available to you in Christ. And like hair, you can get it to start growing again in your life. Just turn back to Christ in faith, ask for the grace you need to do his will, and then depend on this grace to give you a fresh start. Remember, while your sins may produce huge personal and family losses, they cannot prevent the grace of God from reaching you or ever separate you from the love of God. You may forfeit grace, but grace will never forsake you!
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV)
Child of God, you are a saint. Even more than Samson, God has set you apart for His glory. You belong to Him and He has a very special reason for saving your soul. Do not, therefore, allow sin to make you stupid. Moreover, don’t cut yourself off from the grace of God through unbelief and self-effort. But if you ever make any of these very costly mistakes, never forget, God’s grace is always available to you. In your weakest moments, turn to Him in faith and you will find Him always there with arms outstretched. Samson discovered this to be true. I have also. And you will too.
Are you trying hard to work for God? May I suggest you stop? That’s right, stop trying so hard to work for God! Now, I know some of you are ready to tie me to the stake and set me on fire for preaching heresy. But before you do, let me explain.
By now we should know the New Covenant is based on grace, not law. What’s the difference? Being under law means we do something for God. Being under grace means Read More
Firstly, how successful have those who Read More
Have you ever tried to write with a pen that had no ink in it? You shook it, you squeezed it, you pressed down hard with it, but it still did not write. And what happened? You became frustrated with it and threw it into the trash.
Have you ever tried starting Read More
In John 4:34-38, Jesus had some advice for His disciples. If they were going to discover what they were born to do, they needed to “lift up” their eyes. That, my friend, is something you may have to do yourself. Otherwise, you will come to the end of your life with a sense of emptiness, having no sense that you have fulfilled God’s purpose for you.
Two things happen when you lift up your eyes. First, you stop Read More
When you think of God, what comes to mind? Is He a Person, or a force? Is He near, or far? Is He Daddy, or Judge? Is He for you, or against you? Is He with you, or inside of you? The way you think about God makes all the difference in the world. It will define how you will relate to Him daily and determine how much you will allow Him to do for you and through you.
Jesus came to Read More
Too often, we allow people, circumstances, and devils to make us feel valueless. Too often, we tell ourselves we are nobodies. Far too often, we buy into the lie that nobody cares. If only we knew how much God cares, how much thought He put into creating us, and how much skill he exercised in forming every part of us, we would be tempted to fall on our knees and worship ourselves!
Every major invention began as Read More